A police officer who hit Ian Tomlinson with a baton and pushed him to the ground at the G20 protests has been found not guilty of manslaughter. PC Simon Harwood denied the manslaughter, in April 2009, of Mr Tomlinson, 47, on the grounds that he used reasonable force. Ten allegations had been made against the officer during his career before his encounter with Mr Tomlinson, who later died. Six of these were deemed “serious” and some were made by his own colleagues. The allegations were not put before the jury as the judge who presided over the inquest said they were not relevant and risked prejudicing the jurors.
Lawyers for the BBC are considering making a formal appeal against a court order that has banned the corporation from showing a dramatised film about the experiences of rioters who took part in last summer’s disorder. The ruling from a judge prevented the docu-drama, which had been due to be broadcast on BBC2 at 9pm on Monday, from being broadcast “by any media until further order”. The channel’s executives were forced to pull the film, which is based on the testimony of interviews conducted for the Guardian and London School of Economics research into the disorder.
The government has published its latest proposals for changes to the criminal justice system, called Swift and Sure Justice. The focus of the white paper is on speeding up court processes, mainly through the use of modern technology, and its proposals are being trialled across the country at the moment. The government claims that the paper will address delay and waste in the system, with plans to extend court sitting times and to increase the use of video technology in courts.
Two national newspapers have been found guilty of contempt of court over their coverage of Levi Bellfield’s conviction for the murder of Milly Dowler. The High Court ruled the Daily Mail and Daily Mirror had published “seriously prejudicial” articles, a claim the newspapers had denied. When the articles were published, jurors had still been considering a separate attempted abduction charge. They were discharged after coverage of the verdict was considered prejudicial.
Computer hacker Gary McKinnon has refused to undergo further medical tests by a Home Office-appointed expert as he fights extradition to the United States. Janis Sharp said her son had already been assessed on at least six occasions and would not undergo a final psychiatric examination before the Home Secretary decides whether to order his extradition. She said it was “an impossibility” because the expert chosen by the Home Office had no experience with Asperger’s syndrome. Mr McKinnon, from north London, admits hacking US military computers but says he was looking for evidence of UFOs. The Home Office said the matter would be discussed at a hearing at the High Court on 24 July.
Royal wedding protesters have lost their High Court claim that they were the victims of unlawful searches and arrests. The Metropolitan Police were accused of effectively “suppressing anti-monarchist sentiment” when Prince William married Kate Middleton in April last year. But two judges ruled the police had acted within their powers and were not guilty of operating an unlawful policy.
Hans Kristian Rausing, one of the heirs to the multibillion-pound Tetra Pak packaging dynasty, has appeared before West London magistrates court on a charge of preventing the lawful and decent burial of the body of his wife, Eva. The body of Eva Rausing was discovered at her London home by police last week
The convicted murderer Jeremy Bamber and two other life prisoners have won the right to a European appeal over whether they can be kept in jail for the rest of their lives. The hearing, in Strasbourg, will test if UK law allowing the most dangerous offenders to be sentenced to whole-life tariffs breaches human rights and amounts to cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment. The case, due to go before the grand chamber of the European court of human rights in November, comes after judges ruled in January that it was not “grossly disproportionate” for prisoners to be imprisoned indefinitely.